National Bank Head: No need to replenish Belarus’ national reserves

The $2-billion loan that has been “promised” by Russia will be spent for the modernization of the Belarusian economy and not the replenishment of the nation`s gold and foreign exchange reserves, Nadzeya Yermakova, Head of the National Bank of Belarus (NBB), told reporters at a press conference in Minsk.

According to the top official, the Anti-crisis Fund of the Eurasian Economy Community (EurAsEC) might release the next, fifth tranche of its $3-billion loan to Belarus in April. “There is hope, common sense should prevail,” she said. “Tomorrow if not today.”

The expert council of the Anti-crisis Fund made no specific decision on the matter during a meeting on April 1, Belarus disagrees with the views expressed by the Fund`s experts without elaborating. “Let`s not talk prematurely,” she explained. “We`ll wait for the decision”.

Approved by the board of the Anti-crisis Fund on June 4, 2011, the $3-billion stabilization loan for Belarus was aimed at supporting the country’s effort to improve its balance of payments. The 10-year loan was to be disbursed in six tranches within three calendar years.

The loan has a grace period of three years and carries a floating interest rate set on the basis of the reference rates of the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan.

The first, $800-million tranche of the loan was made available to Belarus in June 2011. Another portion, $440 million, was provided in late December 2011. Belarus received the third, $440-million tranche in mid-June 2012, and the fourth, $440-million tranche in in January 2013.

Ms. Yermakova said in late December 2012 that the disbursement of the fifth and the sixth, final tranche would depend on Belarus` performance on its fiscal and monetary policy commitments.

Belsat, following BelaPAN